Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pup of the Week: Dirty Harry

This tail should have been written weeks ago.  I started it several times but my friends, Odie, then Leo, then Paco, arrived, and each week they needed to be recognized.  This tail was set aside.
Luckily, more than a week has passed without a close friend joining us.  So I can grip my quill and finally recognize a dog who never had a home, but had a lot of love.
Let me introduce you to Dirty Harry.
Before coming to the Bridge, Harry lived on the streets of Oildale, CA.  He never had, nor wanted, a home.  In a world of domesticated animals, where dogs sleep in warm beds and are warm and dry during storms, Harry wanted none of it.  What he wanted wwas independence.  
He would not let himself be adopted, or even touched, but he did choose a human.
Dirty Harry selected as his human our friend Yolanda Agredano, mom to our cute little friend Beaux Jangles.  Miss Yolanda is a postal worker delivering mail on the streets Harry liked to roam.  
Harry had no schedule, no routine, except one:  Each day he would wait for Miss Yolanda and accompany her on her route.
Miss Yolanda adored Dirty Harry.  She would have loved to have picked him up, take him home, and make him Beaux’s brother.  But Harry would never let her touch him.  As much as he loved her, he loved his independence more.
Harry was brave to live on his own. Houses provide protection; leashes provide guidance; freedom is much harder and inevitably ends the same way.
Harry had crossed many a street in his life.  No one is sure what happened that final day.  Did he forget to look?  Did he misjudge the car’s speed? The answer doesn’t matter.  It wouldn’t change the end.  Harry was hit by a car.
Miss Yolanda, who was on her lunch break, rushed to his side.  Harry finally let him touch her.  He looked in her eyes to tell her everything was alright, and then he slipped away to the
Bridge.
This should be where the story ends.  Homeless dog hit by a car and dies.   But for Dirty Harry it is where the story began.
Everyone on Miss Yolanda’s route knew Harry.  He was the fabric that held their community together.  
People began leaving tokens of appreciation for Miss Yolanda to honor Harry.  Word spread about the homeless dog and the postal worker he followed.  First, the print media, then television, interviewed Miss Yolanda, and the people on her route, about this dirty little dog.
It created a spark, which became a fire.  The community came together on a Sunday afternoon.  There were probably some Trump voters there, some Hillary voters, the two sides in this supposedly divided country, to honor Harry.  No one there cared about whose life mattered more than Harry’s.  A dirty, little, white dog showed us we are all alike and undivided.  By sundown Sunday $745.00 was raised for, and 260 pounds of dog food was donated to local shelters in Harry’s name.  
And a little dog shall lead them.
As for Harry,we made him a wonderful home to live in with a great big bed and lots of toys.  He turned it down.   He has no interest it a home.  And in a place where everything is always clean Harry somehow remains dirty.
For all his roaming and freedom, Harry still keeps one appointment. Each day he flies into the sun, back to Oildale, where he still dutifully follows her on her route.
When she is done Harry returns here to run the streets with no name knowing he is forever known and loved, and that he wAas the luckiest dog in town.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Of Weasels and Royals

I would like to thank all members of the Tanner Brigade for having patience with the weasels who run the site that hosts our playground:  Ning.  For more than half of last weekend the site was down.  My parents submitted three tickets stating there were issues signing on TB, and Hattie’s Mom Miss Darla submitted one as well.   They answered Miss Darla and told her they could only discuss the problem with mommy (to whom they had not responded.)  Mommy asked Miss Darla to respond with mommy’s email and a request that they contact her.  The weasels did not answer.
I took control of mommy’s Facebook page and navigated to the Ning Page.  Ning’s motto is Ning:  Your brand.  Your members.  Your control.  I posted this:
“Ning. Your Brand. Your Members. Your 500: Unexpected Error.”
This inspired a post from Ning stating that several of their sites were experiencing the same problem, and it has been corrected.  If I have learned one thing dealing with Weasels, it is this:  To get a response from them public humiliation is required.
Which brings me to another publically humiliated gang of weasels:  The Royal Family.  My breed Brexited the hell out of England years ago.  The only dogs left in England are Lou ees (an exquisite dog) and Corgis.  We left because the Royal Family is not dog-friendly.
Check out this picture.
That is Prince George feeding a dog ice cream.  What the Royal Family thought was a cute picture of the little fascist sharing a cone with a dog is, according to some, a picture of careless parents letting their child poison (Poison I say!) an innocent dog.
The uncaring Windsors are roaming England in their royal carriages poisoning innocent dogs with dairy products and possibly chocolate.  (It’s hard to tell if it is a chocolate cone:  Everything in England is so pale.)
Before this, I thought a bit of ice cream was good for us dogs.  A young boy offering me a cone was an act of kindness.  But now I find out it was a Royal plot to remove every dog but Corgis from the world.
If you happen to run the Queen at your local Dairy Queen, beware!  Do not take ice cream from her.  It could be the last thing you eat.
If only Henry VII had known this.  He wouldn’t have had to kill all those wives.  He just would have had to make them a banana split.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sweet Freedom by River Song

They put every obstacle before me.  They pushed me beyond my limits.  But they could not contain me.
After more than two years of being illegally detained when my parents left the house, I have gained my freedom.
I give them credit for trying.  They duct taped my cage together.  They put weights on the top of the crate after I broke through it by pushing off my back legs and opening the door with my hard head.  They put me in between a wall and a bureau after I escaped from the side door.  They used bungee cords to attach my crate to Pocket’s so I could not force the door open.  While I never figured out how to escape from this trap, my attempts scared Pocket and gave her diarrhea, so we were placed in separate rooms.
Once I was no longer attached to Pocket’s crate I studied the clasps on the front of mine.  As soon as my parents left I used my paws to turn the clasp from the inside, then I pushed the bar holding the clasp, pressed against the door and walked out of the crate.  

My parents countered by using four bungee cords, two across the front crate door, two going from the top to the bottom, to keep me inside.  When I was left alone, I unclasped the latches on the front of the crate then pushed the door with my big giant head.  I opened the door wide enough for a coral snake to squeeze through.  Then I maneuvered my enter Griffon body through that small space and was free at last.
When my parents returned home and found me in my familiar spot by the kitchen window, they were stunned.   They inspected the crate, pulled on the door, still held by the bungee cords and saw the small space I had used to escape.   They turned their inspecting efforts to the house
Everything was in place.  I hadn’t disturbed a single table top, ruffled a blanket, or chewed on a leg.  I had lain next to the door praying my parents would soon return.
My parents sat me down.  They told me that they were more concerned with me getting hurt escaping the crate than about me being loose.   They agreed to leave me out of my crate.  I shook their hand with my paw.  We had a deal.  
I have been a good girl since then.  I sit and wait by the door for them to come home.  I don’t taunt Pocket, who is still in her crate a comfortable there.
I promise I won’t mess this up.  I am doing it for dogs who yearn to be free everywhere.
I worked too hard to get out of prison to get caught breaking my parole.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pup of the Week: Paco

The small, brown body of Paco, our friend from Italy, was lifted by Enzo’s escalator to the mountaintop overlooking Rainbow Bridge.  Most dogs arrive at the Bridge standing proudly, all their strength and power being returned to them the further they rise.  But not our Italian friend sweet Paco.
I have never known a dog who fought so hard, who gave every ounce of his strength, to stay with his mom.  Our friend Willie, who had battled cancer for years before crossing the River of Life, came to be known as the dog who said no.  I thought that I would call Paco the dog who said no, but I would cleverly use the Italian word for no.  I was disappointed to learn the Italian word for no is no.
And Paco said no a lot.  His heart was failing, he needed several shots a day.  He had numerous attacks when he could not breathe.  His mom gave him oxygen until the crisis passed.  She would never give up on Paco and Paco would never give up on her. His mom left work to be with him in case he had an attack.  Day after day we prayed that Paco would be granted one more day and each day Paco managed to survive.  
When Paco’s mom dismissed her final class from school for the year, she counted on having a last summer with Paco.  When she got home that day Paco was lying next to his food with no desire to eat.  His mom did everything she could to find that spark in Paco which had rallied him so many time before.  But the spark was gone.  Paco had no more nos left. He was ready to pass over.
We got him to the mountain top.  He could barely stand.   Leo helped me ease him down to the cool grass.  Slowly, Paco began to recover:  All the illness left his body, and his youth was restored.  He stood up, surprised he could breathe easier, and he had no more pain.  “I need to get back to my mom,” he said.
I told him he didn’t have wings yet, and he wasn’t ready to fly into the sun, but our friend insisted.
“I was very sick before I came here but I did not want to leave Momma.  She was doing everything for me:  She was keeping us together, no matter how hard it was.  I was so happy to be with her, even when I couldn’t breathe or eat.  I knew she would save me.  But the doctor told her she was selfish keeping me alive.  Now she thinks she made me suffer for her needs, which is the furthest idea from the truth.  She thinks I hate her, and I love her so much.  I must go back. I must!”
Leo and I exchanged a look.  I nodded. Leo told Paco to get on his back.  He would fly Paco to Italy to see his mom.  Hopefully, Paco’s mom would sense his presence and stop blaming herself.  Leo was sacrificing time with his mom, but Leo is our Lionheart and he would do anything for a friend.
They flew away together and did not return for two days.  I was very concerned.  Italy is a big place, and Leo was not familiar with Italy.  Late on the third day they returned.
Paco told me his mom was a little better.  He was planning on spending all his time with her.  Leo asked him to sit down.
“Remember what your Mom said?” Leo asked. “She said it helps her to think of you at the Bridge running and playing.”
“But I don’t feel like running and playing,” Paco said softly.
I put a paw on his shoulder.  “Do you want your Mom to sit and cry about you every day or do you want her to be happy again?”
“Of course, I want her to be happy,” Paco said.
“And she wants you to be happy and playing.  It is going to be hard, for her, and for you, but your mom wants you to enjoy yourself, so you need to play.”
Paco agreed.  We ran with him, but after a few steps he stopped and lay down.  I needed help.
I contacted Sheriff of Fun Benjamin.  He began to give Paco lessons in fun and he is picking it up quickly.  Just a few minutes ago Paco passed me barking and nipping at Smoochy’s heals.  Later he went swimming with Willie.
Paco’s mom, you wonderful lady, who devoted your life to Paco, know your boy is happy and know he visits you often.  He is working very hard on having fun, and he wants you to work very hard on being happy.
We know it is a harder road for you, and people don’t have sheriffs of fun, although they should, Paco is praying that you will be happy again someday and all we angels are praying as well.
Now I am going to join Paco in playing.  It is time for fun.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Life on Mars

We do not know if we can handle any more heartbreak as more friends join us at Rainbow Bridge.  Adding to this distress is the violence that is becoming more prevalent in society.  Is Earth really the best place for dogs?  Or is there somewhere we could live peacefully?
The Rainbow Bridge High Council asked me to lead an expedition to determine if Mars would be a more proper home for dogs.
I selected three other doganaut's to go with me.  I picked Brody because he can always find food.  I choose Morgan because he is a great diplomat and I took Tommy Tunes to photograph the entire expedition.
Things did not go well.
First, there was the lift off.  Tommy forgot to strap himself in and crashed against our window screen as we left the ground.  He stayed that way as we burst through the atmosphere.  The G-Forces we so great his mouth opened, and we got a drool bath. I was able to pull him down and get him strapped back into his seat.
I was in charge of the landing craft.  The Council should have picked someone with longer legs.  I couldn’t reach the brake, and we tumbled into a dusty canyon and got thrown in different directions.  When I sat up, I was alone and covered in red dirt.
I set out to find my friends.  I found Tommy chasing the Mars Rover around a valley.  Tommy was biting its antenna.  At Mission Control the NASA workers were stunned to find the first sign of life on Mars was a beagle with a camera and a string of popcorn for snacking around his neck.  I grabbed Tommy and told him that our mission was top secret.  To make it up to the metal beast Tommy left his popcorn.
We found Brody lying on the ground with a giant Mars rocks between his paws.  He was licking the rock.  I told him to put the rock down, but Brody insisted he was going to keep licking until he got to the caramel center.  We decided to let him retain part of the rock, which he somehow bit off because Brody was not leaving another planet nutless.
Finally, we found Morgan sitting with Clifford, a big red dog from a big red planet.  He told us that he was hiding until he saw Morgan, who he could tell, was the nicest dog in the world.  Morgan wanted to adopt Clifford because he was all alone.  Clifford said he had come to Mars years ago, and his ship broke.  He informed us that Mars was a terrible place because there were no humans to love.
We found pieces of his shuttle, and pieces of ours, and we put them together to make a ship big enough to transport Clifford and the four of us.  Thanks to Clifford’s giant paws we put it together quickly and flew back home.
If there is no human life on Mars, then that is not a home for any dog.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Secret Life of Humans by Pocket

This week our parents went to the movies to watch “The Secret Life of Pets.”  River and I decided to use this opportunity to discover more about “The Secret Life of Humans.” River Song put a paperclip in the lock on her crate.  It went unnoticed, and she was able to get, then get me free.  We snuck out the door as our unsuspecting parents were leaving, and stealthy climbed into the car’s back seat, then slipped out of the vehicle when they reached the movies.  While they got in line to buy tickets we scurried into the first theater available ready to learn about human’s secrets.
Apparently, aliens are quite the concern in the human world.  Not the kind of alien that sneaks into the country either.  These are one from outer space.  There are entire cities that have been wiped out by extraterrestrials.  I don’t know how humans have been keeping this from us.  But no one is upset about the destruction.  They are more concerned that the aliens attacked in a much more entertaining fashion 20 years ago.  Humans aren’t troubled over the loss of life, just that the aliens weren’t crafty about doing it.  Lesson learned:  Humans are OK with the apocalypse as long as it is entertaining, and Will Smith is involved.
Bustin’ ghosts are a big problem too.  I don’t want any ghosts busted.  Some of my best friends are ghosts.  I don’t understand the big deal with being slimed either.  Any parent who has sat with a dog in their lap has been slimed constantly.
I never knew how many humans were raised in the jungle.  You would think if a baby were left in the jungle it would be eaten like popcorn at Tommy Tunes’ house.  But no, not only does the human survive, he becomes king of the jungle.  Then he goes to live in England for awhile, then comes back to the jungle, and repays everyone by kicking gorilla butt;  Lesson learned:  Kids never visit their parents when they become an adult and when they do the cause a lot of problems, and someone gets hurt.
We found out some things about the secret life of fish too.  They talk a lot; they go on grand adventures, and they aren’t very smart.  After watching them, I swore I will never eat fish again. I hate to eat souls that speak. I hope no one does a movie called “The Secret Lives of Chickens.”  My world would collapse.
After five movies we were tired and went back to the car.  When we got home, we had to speed by our parents and get in the house before them.  We didn’t make it into our crates in time leaving our parents to wonder how we got out.  Well, pets have to have some secrets.
There was one movie we saw was just too silly for words.  It was about a big, hateful orange man running for President against a woman who put the nuclear codes on her phone and texted them to the Chinese.  That was a joke, right?
Wasn’t it?
Please?





Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pup of the Week: Leo



As I lay in my oxygen tent on a Sunday morning, my last as a mortal dog, my brother from another breed, Leo, mustered up all his magic to lay next to me in spirit form, so I would not be alone.  When my teary-eyed parents arrived, I knew it was time.   I kissed Leo and told him to go back to his mom.  My last promise to him was that I would come for him when it was his time.
When it was his time, I didn’t want to go.  If I went then, that meant that Leo, who had contracted an infection after undergoing his third chemotherapy treatment to treat leukemia, time as a mortal dog was over
We dogs need permission from the Big Guy to pass back to the moral side in spirit form.  He always says no, but to help Leo with his transition, he let me go.
I arrived in spirit form and lay next to Leo.  He was so weak I could reach inside of him and lift his soul like paper.   I gave him time to say goodbye, then I lifted his slight soul and flew towards Rainbow Bridge.  By the time I arrived his soul was back to full lion form.  He might be my brother, but he was heavy.
I wanted to show Leo the Bridge’s beautiful landscape, but the clouds were hanging low, and rain was falling created by the tears of the many humans who were mourning Leo’s passing.  I had never seen so many clouds, nor so much rain.  Torrents of rain fell for hours filling rain gauges and spilling the river over its banks.
Waiting for us were hundreds of dogs, more than I had ever seen greet an angel, led by his brothers Bear and Hershey.  Every dog held a tiny umbrella.  While he was getting hugs and kisses from Smoochy, Brody, Smartie, Fella, Tommy, Cooper, Willie, Odie, and many other pups hidden under their umbrellas I battled the rain, flying above them.  I reached into my robes and pulled out my gavel.  I sprinkled Yorkie dust on the umbrellas creating one large party tent.  Quickly a table was made and then plates of food were brought to honor Leo, who always provided food for our parties.  We ate, talked, and laughed for hours until the rain finally subsided and the setting sun shown beneath the passing clouds.  It was time for us to retire to our homes.
Leo was looking towards the setting sun.  I took him by the paw and told him I was going to take him to his new home.
“I don’t live here,” he said.  “I live with my mom.”
I hugged him.  “I know buddy, but you can’t go back, there are rules.”
He continued to look ahead.  “As soon as I got my diagnosis I began studying how I could get back to my mom if I went to the Bridge.  I have a theory:  If I fly as fast as I can into the small point where the river meets the sun, I will get home.  And I am going to do it.  Ask the others if they want to come.”
Asking the others if they wanted to follow Leo flying into the sun was the dumbest idea I ever heard.  Unfortunately Brody, who never heard a dumb idea he didn’t love, did hear and quickly gathered dozens of friends to fly into the sun.
I stayed next to Leo as everyone lined up behind him.  He pulled goggles out of his chow fur and told everyone to follow him.
“How do we get back?” I asked
“Go to the place where the road and the sky collide.”
“Leo, we are breaking the rules!” I said.
“We aren’t breaking the rules; We are making the rules.”
Leo ran, then began to fly, straight into the sun.  Against my better judgment I followed.
We began flying faster and faster towards the sun.  
Leo yelled out to us  “Not a speck of life was showing, so the danger must be growing.   The danger must be complying, cause we Flyers keep on flying.  And we’re certainly not showing any sign that we are slowing.”
We flew into the sun, and then we were split off, pulled through separate star filled tubes.  I landed with a thud and looked up.  I was home.
Mommy was sitting with River and Pocket in her chair.  They lifted their heads when they saw me.  I growled, and River jumped off of Mommy’s lap.  I jumped on her and reached up with my paw for her to scratch me, but my paw went right through her.  I looked at her, but she could not see me.  Then I realized:  I was ghosting.
I was there, and my sisters could sense me there, but Mommy had no idea.  How could she not recognize me?  I was going to cry.  Then I could sense mommy’s blood pressure going down, and her muscles relaxing. Somewhere in her brain, in those parts humans haven’t developed yet, she knew I was there, and I was making her better.
I stayed on her lap, content to smell her, and feel her, even if she couldn’t do the same. But she knew even if she didn’t know.  I stayed with her until it was dinner time, then I decided to go back to the Bridge.
I headed to where the road and the sky collide, and I was back at the Bridge.  Some of my friends were there, and they all had the same experience.  One by one our friends returned, all with the same story.  We all agreed we would go back, even if our parents didn’t know, and even if it was painful because it is our duty to protect our parents despite it being exhausting.  Soon everyone was back, except for Leo.
I waited up for him until dawn.  He finally landed next to me.  I hugged him again and told me we needed to go to sleep.  He shook his head.
“I promised Hattie breakfast in Paris,” he said.  “You know how she hates to wait.  Then I am playing Indian with my brothers.  They are going to let me be Chief.   After that a game of basketball with Smoochy and the boys and then back to my mom for the day.”
“But when are you going to sleep?” I asked.
“I have eternity to sleep, but only mom’s mortal life to be by her side and protect her.  I will be here when she sleeps, and with her when she is awake, as long as she needs me.  Now please excuse me, my sister,” he said kissing me on the cheek “my wife insists I get properly groomed before we go out for breakfast.”
And with that, my best friend flew off.  I knew he felt the pain of being with his mom and her not recognizing him, but he is Leo, the Lion King, and nothing could keep him from seeing his mom, no matter what the rules.
In postscript, to any parent reading this, if you feel a calmness passing over you, or a sweet smile on your lips for no reason, know that one of your angel's pups is with you.  Sometimes you can see them.  They are right in the corner of your eye.
If you do feel your angels thank Leo who showed us the way home.
Straight into the horizon.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Preventing Forest Fires

Everyone at Rainbow Bridge watches humans rip apart themselves and their planet, and we wait for the inevitable influx of new angels created by their actions.  
Being mortal is like being a parent at a little league or soccer game.  The parents yell, scream, stamp their feet and act foolish while watching twelve-year-olds and younger try to play baseball.
Being immortal is like being a parent of a teenager who goes back to a little league or soccer game and wonders:  “Did we really ever act like that?”
There is so much I could pick from as an example of how mortals are destroying themselves, but I would like to concentrate on one this week:
Forest fires.
There were three separate fires in Colorado.  Two are under suspicion, and one was started by people accidentally.  They then fled the scene without putting it out because who wants to be caught in a forest fire?
We had two friends’ families caught in the path of the fire.  The family of Kyna B Bear and her dogs R and Shyla and the family of Kathy Voseberg and her dog Enzo.  The Voseberg family was able to stay in their homes but when the fire came too close to the Bear’s homestead they had to leave their home unguarded.
These were not the only souls threatened by the fire.  Thanks to Kyna’s trail cameras we have been able to follow the adventures of a mother bear and her two cubs.  I am not a fan of bears, but I have become invested in this lovely, sprightly, little family.  When a fire rips through the wilderness, no one evacuates the bears, or the Bobcats, or the other souls we have seen on Kyna’s cameras.  We can only hope they were spared.
The firefighters have done the best they can to fight the fires and to save humans, and their pets.  Millions of dollar have been spent to stop the fire spreading, houses have been lost, and souls have died, all because some careless humans decided to make another rip in the fabric of their already torn world.  
I don’t know what to do, but I think we need a new approach.  I am starting with forest fires.
I have reassigned Smokey the Bear.
Please meet the new spokesperson for Forest Fear Awareness.
It’s Enzo the Goldie.

Thank you for a good friend of mine for the graphic

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

For my Brother Leo By Pocket

I know Foley writes her Pup of the Week blogs where she often honors pups who crossed the River of Life.  I have respected her wishes.  Having lived with her for six years, I know never to cross her.
But I cannot let the passing of my brother Leo go by without comment.  I love all my online friends, but Leo was very special to me.  When Foley lay alone spending her last days in an oxygen tent, Leo did what I could not.  He forced his way into her dreams so she would not be alone.
I have been Foley’s little sister for a long time.  She has always been a bright, shining star that still attracts attention from Rainbow Bridge.  I am happy to let Foley have the attention.  I am passive and quiet.  But Leo always treated me as Foley’s equal.  When Foley passed, and I was worried about taking her place Leo assured me that I could do it.  
Shortly after Foley passed we received a package from Leo’s mom.  It was a beautiful painting of my sweet sister.  That portrait meant so much to my mom.  While Leo’s magnificent mom did the artwork we knew Leo was her muse, and Leo’s love for Foley came through in that painting.
Several times a year Leo and his mom would send River and I gifts from both Leo and Foley.  Leo did it because he didn’t want me to think Foley ever forgot me.  It was the sweetest gesture any dog or mom ever made to me.
We were shocked when Leo was diagnosed with leukemia.  He was our rock.  He was the soul of our group.  I could not imagine life without that sweet, brave boy. 
And now I have to imagine it.  All of us who loved Leo are in mourning.  I don’t know if we will ever be the same.  We say that when a dog leaves their mom, he takes their heart with them.  Leo took a part of my heart, and of River’s heart, and many of our friends.
We will soldier onward.  Leo would not want us to collapse as a group.  But, after losing so many others, Leo’s passing is like a wrecking ball crashing against a fragile wall.
We will withstand it.  We are strong.  We will do it for Leo.  

I wish I had better words.  Maybe Foley will.  But we will always love you, Leo.  To the moon and back.

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Question

Did your parents go see the Secret Life of Pets?  Are you afraid they will learn any of your secrets?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pup of the Week: Odie


Pocket, River Song, and I have been playing with Odie and Scooby on Saturday nights since before Scooby became an angel last year.  We have gone beyond the stars, to the deepest depths of the ocean, and even back to puppyhood.  When Scooby, I, or another angel friend have celebrated a special day our mortal siblings were always invited.  Just a few days ago I plucked Odie from his dreams for my birthday party.
On Friday morning, when I recognized Odie’s familiar scent, and saw him standing by the river, I thought he has overslept at my party and had not returned to his mortal, sleeping form.  I ran towards him to tell him he needed to get home or his mom would be worried about his round the clock nap when I saw the sadness in his eyes.  Odie would no longer be lifted from his mortal dreams for angel adventures.  He was an angel.
I asked him what circumstances brought him to Rainbow Bridge.  He said his mom thought he was acting strangely.  
Now let me tell you about his mom:  We certainly have the greatest collection of moms in our little groups, but no mom is more in tune with her dogs’ health than Odie’s mom. She helped guide Scooby, a Great Dane, to the almost unheard of for a large dog age of 15, and aided Odie to reach the same age.  Both dogs had lost the use of their back legs but their mom and dad built ramps, ordered wheels, and kept their boys active.  There were special diets, pills, and, at the first sign something was amiss, several vet visits.
And it wasn’t just for Odie and Scooby.  All creatures great and small were welcome in Odie’s house.  He shared his home with ferrets, and bunnies, and other furry creatures.  His mom could not say to any being in need of a home.  She even brought injured baby birds into her home.  Some, who were injured beyond being able to survive, she gave forever home to, and others she mothered until they were ready to fly free.
She knew every eye movement, every lick, every move her boys took.  When she asked Odie to kiss her and he refused she knew something was wrong.  She checked his gums.  They were pale.  She, and Odie’s dad, immediately rushed him to the doctor’s office.
An ultrasound showed that something had ruptured inside of him.  He had been living with an aneurysm for some time.  The doctor didn’t know if it was the aneurysm, or something else, but Odie’s time as a mortal dog was ending.  His heartbroken parents said goodbye and Odie was transported to Rainbow Bridge and immortality.
Now he was in front of me, like he was in so many dreams, but now we were all too awake.  I had so much to tell him about life at the Bridge.  I began to speak and I was bowled over by giant paws.
It was Scooby who had done the bowling.  He had run down the hill, his four legs digging into the moist dirt, and couldn’t stop.  He hugged his brother, ran from him and another dog ran me over.  It was Rusty, the dog who preceded Odie.  He ran circles around his newly met brother, barking.  Scooby charged back at him as I moved out of the way.
“Let’s go, let’s run like we did when we were young,” Scooby said.  “We can do it again.  We can finally play.”
Odie looked in the river.  “But I am thinking about Mom and Dad.”
“So am I,” Scooby said still running circles.  “When they think about us how do you want them to think?  Of us forlornly looking into a river thinking about them?  Or us running like the wind, like we used to do, when we were young.”
Odie thought about it a minute, then he smiled, and he took off, running after his brother.  Rusty joined them and the three of them, barked, and nipped at one another, happily playing until the disappeared over the hill.
They were all much bigger than me.  I was barely the size of their paws.  And I could never keep up with them.  But my tail started to wag, my feet dug into the dirt and I took off after them to start an endless dream date.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: Reflecting on 16 Years



This week I celebrated my 16th birthday.  I was lucky enough to celebrate 12 birthdays with my family.  I passed to Rainbow Bridge just before my 13th.  Since then each party has become bigger, as more of my friends have joined me here.  They have also grown sadder, for the same reason.  
We do party quite hard here.  We partake of every type of food and we can. We even eat cake.  And we drink more than we should.
Our birthdays mark another year separated from our parents.  We feel the same weight of separation our parents feel.  We dance faster and play harder to push that pain of separation away just for a bit.  
We even have silent fireworks, which are much preferable to the loud, annoying, frightening, fireworks that scare many of our mortal friends, causing some to flee their yards and end up in shelters until their family fetches them.  With all the advances in technology, humans have discovered I am stunned that silent fireworks are not among them.
My birthday is two days after a pair of my best friends who are here with me at the Bridge:  Brody, who joined me last year, and Tanner, who preceded me here by several years.  
With all these birthdays our time here at the Bridge has been like college.  We work during the day, and we party at night.  Except we don’t have the innocence that college students have.  We know how hard and cruel the world can be, the compromises our parents have to make to survive, and how the hardness and these compromises can slowly change even the kindest people for the worst.
Which is where we dogs come into the picture:   I know there were many days when I, or now, River and Pocket, have been the best part of our parents’ day.  We don’t have to try hard.  Sometimes we don’t have to try.  We are just ourselves, sitting in a chair playing with a toy, and we make our parents smile.   Sure, there are times we put some effort into bringing our parents happiness, some dancing, or playing, but usually, it is just us being us that does the trick.
We live to make our parents’ hard lives better.  And they make our lives better too.  When you see a picture of an unrescued dog, then see a picture of them in their forever home, they look like a dog who made the long trip from depression to joy.  It is a very quick trip for us.
For us dog, taking our parents from depression to joy can be a daily trip, but one that is our pleasure to take.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

River Song's Garden Tour

We recently celebrated the Fourth of July.  Pocket and I have been supervising our parents doing garden work for four months.  Mommy says the gardens are still not ready to be shown online but Pocket and I disagree.  We stole mommy’s camera and took the photos.  Unfortunately we are not very tall so our pictures are all ground level.

This is a picture of the giant bicycle planter.  We don’t know why there are plants riding a bike.  We have stopped asking questions.  We just hope the flowers look pretty.File_000.jpeg
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This is the path that leads to the lighthouse.  We don’t know why the lighthouse needs a path or who lives in the lighthouse.  There are bird feeders and daddy says the path keeps seeds from creating weeds.  We are hoping to catch the elves who live in the house.

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This is our front, rock garden.  We like to pee near hear.  We bark at that rabbit everyday but it never moves.  I hate that darn rabbit.

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You can see Saint Anthony walking through our main garden.  We don’t bark at him.  He is nice but a little intimidating.

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The famous Foley Memorial Garden.   At the bottom right is her memorial stone and the pink roses are from my daddy’s grandfather’s garden.  The rose bush is over 80 years old.  This is the first year it has been in Foley’s garden.

Can you see the little green tomato?  Mommy is very proud of her tomatoes. This is the second year she has grown them.  I hope we can get some when they become ripe.File_000.jpeg

This is another picture of St Anthony’s Garden from the other side.  File_000.jpeg

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Lucy and Ricky’s Mom Pam sent our mom some seeds on Mother’s Day.  Those seeds have sprouted into the little red flowers you can see in this picture

Our front garden has pink flowers and let’s everyone know whose house this is.File_000.jpeg

But a closer look shows who this house really belongs to.File_000.jpeg